Manchester United have failed Edwin van der Sar over Van de Beek plea
Looking back, it’s all pretty sad. When Manchester United paid £35 million to sign Donny van de Beek from Ajax, hopes were high.
Ajax CEO, Edwin van der Sar, helped smooth the deal to sell Van de Beek to the club he as a player helped win the Champions League in 2008.
He hoped he was sending Van de Beek to a club which would continue the midfielder’s development and become another success to chalk up to Ajax’s famed developmental system.
Sadly, the Van der Sar who United left behind when he retired, are almost unrecognisable now.
Van der Sar took out a full newspaper advert in the MEN asking fans to trust Van de Beek, ‘take good care of our Donny’ and ‘help him dream’.
To be fair United supporters have not let him down. Fans have remained supportive of the midfielder, it is the club have have totally failed to ‘look after’ the Dutchman.
Not given a fair chance
Van de Beek has started just four Premier League games in 18 months since joining United. None of them have been this season.
This campaign he has fewer league minutes than Dan James, who was sold by the club in August.
38 of his total 50 games have been as a substitute, and even during this spell where Paul Pogba has been out injured for the last three months, Van de Beek’s situation has not changed.
When Bruno Fernandes was suspended against Burnley, Ralf Rangnick chose to change formation rather than slot Van de Beek in.
The only matches the midfielder seems to get a chance in, are low-stakes cup matches, where he is thrust in alongside other underused players. It’s not a situation set up to create success.
If Van de Beek had been given a run of 10 games and been proven to be below par, United fans could better understand his situation.
Instead we are left wondering why he has not been given a fair crack. This is a player who starred for Ajax, and netted in a Champions League semi-final.
Van de Beek faces an uncertain few days heading into the crescendo of the January transfer window.
Under appreciated by Manchester United, Premier League side Crystal Palace have shown interest in the midfielder, Sky Sports report.
Sadly, it says everything about Van de Beek’s spell at United, that he will not be missed if he leaves.
In fact, many United supporters would be happy if he does, because then at least we can see him play for ourselves and work out what exactly the problem is.
Is he not good enough? Is he ill-suited to the Premier League? Or will he expose Solskjaer and replacement Ralf Rangnick’s closed-minded thinking for failing to give him a chance. It would be a fascinating experiment.
Van de Beek may have help eventually, whatever happens this season, thanks to his former Ajax manager.
Erik Ten Hag is strongly linked with becoming United boss at the end of the season, with The Times reporting he leads the race.
Ten Hag’s possible arrival is Van de Beek’s best chance of salvaging his United career, whatever happens this season.
If United do appoint Ten Hag, Van der Sar will no doubt be tempted to put out another full-page advert asking everyone in Manchester to look after him and support him.
But after watching how it has all worked out for Van de Beek, he probably will decide not to bother.
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